The Many Benefits of Regular Exercise
The saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” is no longer relevant in today’s age where technology has given you more things to do in the same amount of time.
People are more stressed out and become prone to adapt unhealthy habits. As a result, global obesity continues to rise to coincide with the rising number of cardiovascular related diseases. One of the best ways to stay healthy is to exercise.
It’s time for people to realize that exercise will benefit you in more ways than one. Here are the many benefits you get from regular exercise:
Exercise makes you move and movement requires coordination between your Central Nervous System (CNS), muscle tissues, bones and supporting tendons.
The more you exercise the more energy you create from stored calories. Exercise triggers this entire chain of events that helps your body become more efficient and functional.
Regardless of the type of exercise you do, you will build strength. It’s not just muscular strength. Even your bones, tendons and ligaments become stronger which lowers your risk of getting osteoporosis as you get older.
As your muscle becomes stronger, it develops the characteristics that allow it to accommodate greater work load. You build bigger, fuller and more toned muscles!
Exercise stimulates different neural pathways that become more efficient the more you train them. The end result is better overall functionality.
Your day-to-day activities such as walking, sitting, picking objects from the floor, carrying a bag on your shoulders, playing with your kids become easier and pain-free.
Increased physical activity also improves the efficiency by which your organs function. This is called metabolism. As your metabolism increases, you burn more unwanted body fat. Thus, exercise helps you maintain a healthy weight.
Medical Health Benefits:
Excess glucose or blood sugar is stored as body fat and exposes you to the risk of developing type II diabetes. Exercise increases insulin sensitivity.
This means consumed carbohydrates are more readily stored as glycogen or muscle energy in muscle tissue. With regular exercise, you are able to convert stored glucose into energy.
Your heart is a muscle. If you don’t exercise your heart, it will get weaker. Regular exercise will reduce your level of Low Density Lipo-Proteins or LDL, the bad cholesterol and protect you from cardiovascular disease, heart attacks and strokes.
Exercise improves overall blood circulation. Your vital organs consistently receive nutrient-rich blood and oxygen which improve overall function. This also enhances the way your immune system functions which is why people who exercise regularly hardly get sick.
Mental Health Benefits:
With improved blood circulation, your brain is able to perform at its best. Regular exercise improves your level of cognition, increases mental alertness and reduces your risk of memory loss.
Studies have consistently shown that regular exercise can stave off dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of mental illness.
Why do you think the most successful and iconic people in business and politics today always take time to exercise? In fact, it is the first thing they do in the morning.
This list of fitness early risers includes Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Group, Tim Cook of Apple, Jeff Bezos of Amazon and US President Barack Obama.
This is because exercise makes you feel good! In addition to exercise’s ability to improve cognition, it also releases mood- enhancing endorphins that helps get their day off to great start. Doctors have long prescribed exercise as the most effective way to manage stress.
There are also numerous studies that show exercise helps counter the effects of depression and lowers the risk of suicide.
Finally, when you are more attuned with what your body can do, you develop greater confidence. Of course, as you build muscle and burn fat, you start to feel more confident about the way you look. It’s easier to buy clothes that fit well and you will notice more people are appreciative of your physical changes.
How Much Exercise Do You Need?
Unless you are a competitive athlete, you don’t have to exercise more than 4 days a week. 4 is a good baseline number because it leaves only 3 days in a week for inactivity.
In terms of duration, the old benchmark of 30 minutes per day of light activity may not as effective to maintain overall health and fitness. Try to put in at least 1 hour of exercise which includes 30 minutes of strength training, 20 minutes of cardiovascular activity and 10 minutes of stretching.
Find time in the day to exercise. It does not have to be at a gym. You can exercise in the park or in your own home. If you love your life, take time to care for your health. Exercise is an investment that will pay out continued dividends over the course of your life.